Once the snow melts and the warm weather starts inching in, it’s time to finally free your motorcycle from the garage. But it’s too dangerous to simply jump on and go after it’s been sitting for over a month. Even if you’ve kept up regular maintenance, it’s important to do one last, thorough check of your motorcycle before taking off.
Check Your Oil and Change the Fuel
Don’t start your bike if it’s filled with fuel older than six weeks. You’ll want to empty the carburetors in case the gasoline has thickened from sitting unused. That’s if it doesn’t all evaporate. Your bike won’t run on an empty tank, so much sure to clean it out and refill it. Check your oil and have it changed if necessary.
Check Your Tires
Tires that sit for a long time can have air leak out, so check for flats and refill the air in your tires. This is also a good time to check the general condition of your tires. You’ll want to make sure they’re not worn down and are reliable for the wet roads that spring rain will bring.
Inspect every aspect of your brakes before leaving the garage. Brake pads, brake lines and brake fluid should all be inspected and replaced if necessary.
Check the Battery
A lot of times, motorcycle batteries go dead while they’re sitting for a long time, unused and in the cold. When this happens, the lifespan of the battery lowers. A bad battery can cause big issues, so make sure to check your battery. If it died over the winter, it may be time to get a new one.
Take a Practice Spin
Before jumping on any major highways or going cross-country, take a slow trip around the neighborhood. It’s probably been a while since you rode your bike, so take time to familiarize yourself with riding again. Also be sure that your riding gear is reliable and hasn’t suffered from wear or cracks.
When in Doubt, Check the Manual
If you’ve done all of the above and are having trouble with your motorcycle, read over the manual. There are many issues you can fix yourself, but others should be handled by an expert.
It’s better to be safe than sorry! Thoroughly inspect your motorcycle after the winter so you can be ready for spring.